Museum of Awards – 2010

Excited by the creativity and imagination displayed by the younger writers, their work not only demanded celebrating but also development. In 2010 the Young Muslim Writers Awards was set up to focus on nurturing writers under the age of 16. The competition was launched with the support of the Institute of English Studies, University of London and the ceremony held in May of that year.



Amjid Ali

Amjid Ali  is Senior Manager at HSBC Amanah Global, working as part of the HSBC Amanah Central team headquartered in Dubai. He has a total of 22 years retail branch banking experience.  Amjid was recognised as one of the 100 most influential Muslims in the UK (Muslim Power 100 Awards 2007) for his work on the development and introduction of Islamic Financial Solutions in the UK. He is also actively involved in community work on both a local and national level.

Qamar Ahmed

Qamar Ahmed is IT Project Manager at HSBC and the Chairman of the employee network, HSBC Islamic Society. Outside of work, Qamar is a keen Cricketer and coach of the under 11 age group at Bushey Cricket Club.

Qaisra Shahraz

Qaisra Shahraz Qaisra Shahraz is a critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter, Member of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her novel, The Holy Woman, won the Golden Jubilee Award in 2001. Qaisra is also author of Typhoon, which became a bestseller in Holland.  Her award-winning short stories are studied in schools and colleges, and her books translated into several languages.

Remona Aly

Remona Aly is a freelance journalist, media consultant and researcher. Previously the Deputy Editor at emel, Remona is currently working as Campaigns Director for the Exploring Islam Foundation, which specialises in producing media resources that creatively explore the numerous aspects of Islam. She is also involved in projects at Gazelle Media. Remona has published works in the Guardian, Q-News and emel

Bhavit Mehta

Bhavit Mehta entered the world of Children’s books in 2007 with Saadhak Books, an independent publishing house producing children’s picture books based on South Asian folktales.

Bhavit works with the Society of Young Publishers, a not-for-profit organisation which runs activities for students and publishers working in the book industry. He is also an author and storyteller, and his first publication Laghu the Clever Crow launched July 2009.

Humaira Rashid

Humaira Rashid was winner of the Muslim Writers Awards in 2009, as well as the winner of the Unpublished Short Story for her story, Crash and Burn. In 2008 Humaira was also awarded first prize for the Under 16s category of MWA in 2008. She is now studying medicine at the University of Leicester and dreams of being a published author. Humaira volunteered to take part as a judge for the YMWA, in order to give back to the initiative which encouraged and inspired her to keep writing.

Subnum Hariff

Subnum Hariff is Partnership and Access Manager for Bolton Library and Museum Services and Cultural Lead for Bolton’s Building Schools for the Future Programme. Subnum is working in partnership with the broad cultural sector to offer children, young people and communities, the opportunities to enrich their lives through culture and cultural learning.  She is currently working with the Creativity Culture and Education initiative and Bolton Council of Mosques on a pilot project to introduce and embed creativity into the madressa curriculum.

Shemiza Rashid

Shemiza Rashid  is a teacher of English and Expressive art, and visiting lecturer at Bedfordshire University in the Creative Arts, Science and Technology Department. She is an Interfaith Art Consultant and the director of the award winning The Creative Muslim Network. She is also the founder of Shining Ummah. Shemiza frequently contributes to the faith column of the Luton News.

Rebecca Wilkie

Rebecca Wilkie is editor of Booktrust’s children’s books website,, and produces their annual Best Book Guide.  She sits on the selection panels for all Booktrust’s Bookgifting programmes from Bookstart to Booked Up and also works on The Big Picture campaign, which aims to promote picture books. Rebecca studied English at University College London and has worked with children’s books since graduating in 2001, first as a bookseller, then for a leading literary agent and now for Booktrust.

Anna Perera

Anna Perera was born in London to an Irish mother and Sri Lankan father and grew up twenty miles away with her head planted firmly in a book. She taught English in two London secondary schools and later became responsible for a unit for boys who’d been excluded from school. Later still, she did an MA in Writing for Children and has had five books published. Her first Young Adult novel, Guantanamo Boy, published this year by Puffin, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Award.

Rasha Mohammad

Rasha Mohammad is an Egyptian writer and journalist, reporting on inter-religious and cultural topics across the Middle East and America. She is Senior Editor at (Art & Culture and Back to Religions pages) and also works as a foreign correspondent in the United States. Rasha has previously worked on the Palestinian Holocaust Museum initiative as editor, after the 2009 war on Gaza.

Alveena Malik

Alveena Malik is Principle Associate at the Institute of Community Cohesion with lead responsibility on Education and Cohesion policy. She has responsibility for providing strategic direction on the role education can play in bridging cultures and promoting community cohesion working closely with key national bodies such as DCSF and Ofsted.  Alveena also provides key strategic advice to several UK Muslim organisations.

Shelina Parmalloo

Shelina Parmalloo is Development Manager for DIPNET – Diversity in Publishing Network. DIPNET is an organisation that aims to redress the balance of equality in the UK publishing sector through organizing networking events and raising the profile of publishing to traditionally underrepresented communities. They provide positive action traineeships and mentoring programmes, as well as information and knowledge about the industry.

Moazzam Begg

Moazzam Begg is Director of Cageprisoners, the prisoner human rights organisation. He is also author of the award-winning book Enemy Combatant, which details his personal experiences as a former Guantánamo Bay prisoner, as well as his life as a Muslim living in the UK. A published poet, Muazzam’s poetry appears in the highly acclaimed anthology, Poems from Guantanamo.

Zahid Hussain

Zahid Hussain was born in Lancashire, studied I.T. and business in France and Spain and ended up running community projects in Cheetham Hill. Somewhere in between he tripped over a pen, won the North West Poetry Slam! and wrote his debut novel, ‘The Curry Mile’. He is currently polishing off his second novel. In 2009, he set up the Manchester Muslim Writers to nurture creative writing. In his spare time Zahid writes blogs and wishes he had more time to read.

Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela is the Sudanese-born author of The Translator (New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and Minaret . Both novels were long listed for the Orange Prize and IMPAC Dublin Award. She was awarded first prize by the Caine Prize for African Writing, for her short story The Museum, from her collection of short stories entitled Coloured Lights. BBC Radio has adapted her work extensively and broadcast a number of her plays including The Mystic Life and the historical drama The Lion of Chechnya. Leila’s work has been translated into 12 languages.